Is The Gold star Jack Lowden set to be the next Bond?

Is The Gold star Jack Lowden set to be the next Bond? How the Scottish actor went from appearing in Irn-Bru adverts to starring in BBC dramas (and dating one of Hollywood’s favourite stars!)

  • Jack Lowden stars in BBC1’s new drama The Gold as gangster Kenneth Noye 
  • Read more: Tarnished tale turns thug Noye into BBC’s latest working class hero

Scottish actor Jack Lowden wowed viewers of the new BBC1 drama The Gold last night with his portrayal of Kenneth Noye. 

The Essex-born star, 32, plays the ambitious crook involved in the biggest armed heist in British history – the Brink’s-Mat gold bullion robbery in November 1983.

Viewers have been so blown away by his performance, they have been left wondering if he could be tipped to play the next James Bond. 

It’s been a slow rise to fame for Jack, who once dreamed of becoming a footballer and attended stage school in Edinburgh as a teen before landing roles in Irn Bru adverts and local plays.

But after landing his big break in 2016’s War and Peace, he became a household name, appearing in Mary Queen of Scots in 2018, where he met his girlfriend Saorise Ronan, and more recently appeared with Gary Oldman in the drama Slow Horses. 

Scottish actor Jack Lowden is wowing viewers of new BBC1 drama The Gold with his portrayal of Kenneth Noye – with some even speculating he could be lined up to be the next 007 

Jack was born to Gordon and Jacquie Lowden, in Chelmsford in 1990, describing himself as an ‘IVF baby’.

The family moved to Scottish village Oxton when he was young, where his father worked for the Bank of Scotland – while his mother took on a host of different jobs.

Speaking to the Evening Standard in 2019, he revealed: ‘She did almost every job under the sun, including working at Edinburgh Zoo. I remember her dressing up as a rhino.’

Alongside his brother Calum, Jack ended up attending Manor School of Ballet in Edinburgh.

However football was his one true love, and he dreamed of becoming a professional.

He explained: ‘I wanted to be a footballer. It absolutely broke my heart when I realised I wasn’t going to be one.’ 

‘If someone waved a wand and I was able to play football really well, I’d bite their hand off and do that, over this [acting].’

While his brother went on to become a professional ballet dancer, Jack pursued other passions – with Gordon and Jacquie enrolling him in  the Scottish Youth Theatre.

He appeared on stage for the first time as a 12-year-old, where he played John in a Peter Pan pantomime at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.  

The Scottish actor has been dating Saoirse Ronan since the two starred in the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots together  

Jack decided to go professional after seeing the play Black Watch on its first run in 2007.

He juggled high school with trips to London each summer to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. 

In 2009, he appeared in an advert for Irn Bru, something he would later call ‘a rite of passage’ for Scottish actors. 

His star began to rise when he landed his first role as the lead character on stage in Black Watch in 2010.

His first role was in a humble Irn Bru advert, where he danced and sang through the halls of a school (pictured) 

The play toured internationally, with press hailing Jack for his performance as ‘charismatic’, ‘quirky’ and ‘a stand-out.’ 

Jack received a BA in acting from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow in 2011, and the following year, appeared on stage in Chariots of Fire.   

The play opened at London’s Hampstead Theatre and transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End in June 2012.

He began to look to TV work, appearing in dramas Mrs Biggs and The Tunnel. 

However he continued to work in theatre and in 2014, he received both the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and also the Ian Charleson Award, for his role in Ghosts.

In 2016, his big break came when he appeared in BBC drama War and Peace alongside Paul Dano and Tuppence Middleton.

Jack decided to become an actor after seeing the play Black Watch, before landing a lead role in the production years later  

However it was his performance in 2016’s War and Peace which won him household acclaim and saw his star catapult 

After roles in a number of films, including Tommy’s Honour and A United Kingdom, he played a leading role in Christopher Nolan’s World War II movie Dunkirk.

With his star rising, Jack portrayed Lord Darnley in Mary Queen of Scots in 2018, opposite Saoirse Ronan.

The role saw Jack quickly become one of Britain’s most sought-after actors, and he recently won praise from critics for his role as a spy River Cartwright in TV drama Slow Horses opposite Gary Oldman.   

His performance, alongside his role in BBC drama The Gold, have left many wondering if he could be lining up to be the next James Bond.

However speaking to Esquire, he said he hadn’t auditioned for the role as yet, adding: ‘Like everyone else, I’m still trying to get over the fact that Daniel Craig’s not doing it anymore.

The actor met his now long term girlfriend Saoirse while playing her love interest in Mary Queen of Scots 

While the two are tight-lipped about their relationship in interviews, Jack often shares snaps of his girlfriend on Instagram 

‘I think he should still be doing it, to be honest, and he was my Bond. It’s very flattering to be asked about it, but I’m very much all about River Cartwright at the moment.’

Meanwhile he and A-lister Saoirse also hit it off. Their on-screen romance lead to a relationship off-camera, and the two quickly began dating. 

The couple now live together in London, but split their time between Ireland, Scotland, the US, London and the various places across the world that their work takes them.

While the couple rarely make comment about their relationship publicly, they are often snapped out and about together – and Jack occasionally shares pictures of Saoirse on his Instagram page.

However in one interview earlier this year, he couldn’t help but gush over his partner, telling iNews: ‘My first love is actors. And when you’re given a Ferrari like her, it’s all about how you make everything good for the Ferrari to show off.

Jack has won praise of his role in Apple+ espionage drama Slow Horses, where he stars opposite Gary Oldman 

‘Don’t make a Ferrari do what a Renault Clio does. It’s a dreadful analogy but they’re like gold dust, good actors.

‘When there’s someone like that, you just have to facilitate them and you will get gold. And my God, did we.’

However he hinted that he preferred to keep his relationship as private as possible, adding: ‘I’m not an idiot…We’re hugely appreciative of the level of scrutiny we have… We’re treated well but we don’t seek it either. 

‘People have got it far worse. It’s also obviously of our own making. Whatever – as long as we’ve got each other, we’re alright with any of that.’

Meanwhile he also revealed he ‘is not competitive’ with his girlfriend, telling the Big Issue: ‘I’d lose. There is just zero competition, because there is no competition.” 

Meanwhile he often waxes lyrical about his love of Scotland in interviews, and is vocal about his pro-independence stance 

While he may be private about his love life, when it comes to politics, the pro-independence  star is far from it. 

He regularly tweets his support for Scottish independence, posting in 2019: ‘It’s time for a fresh start — to choose a different and better path. As an independent country, Scotland’s future will be in Scotland’s hands.’

He also told The Two Shot Podcast that he ‘tried to hide being English as much as he can’.

Meanwhile speaking to Hunger, he said he felt a responsibility to use his platform, saying: ‘I think it’s brilliant when actors use their fame. Why waste it? I know people get p***** off because they think we just p*** about on a stage for a couple of hours a night so why should they care what we think about Brexit.

‘ But don’t put a microphone in their face then.’  

With critically acclaimed performances in Slow Horses and The Gold, some are now tipping Jack to be the next James Bond 

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